Pretty medieval manuscript of the day shows St Michael fighting the devil for the souls of two corpses.
According to the library:
“This Book of Hours was copied in Eastern France between 1425 and 1475. The miniature featured here is one of twelve large miniatures in gold frames, arched at the top and with three or four lines of text underneath. This leaf shows the beginning of the psalm for first vespers in the Office of the Dead. The miniature shows St Michael fighting a devil over two corpses; a third ‘corpse’ is ascending into heaven. The full border is a floral-acanthus design with twining ivy leaves. Immediately below the miniature is a 3-line initial in red, blue and orange with white tracery on a gold ground. The last line of text is completed with a line filler”
There is plenty here for the modern viewer to find peculiar, but the thing that strikes me as the oddest thing is the sight of a body ascending (or descending?) from heaven. The site of a torso and legs hanging from the celestial heavens, whilst St Michael and the devil fight like cat and dog is downright bizarre! These artists certainly had a tricky time, trying to find new ways to depict extraordinary stories!
Image source: Alexander Turnbull Library MSR-02, National Library of New Zealand. Image released into the public domain via the Flickr Commons.